Saturday, March 10, 2012

Free Hand Shamrock Tutorial

Since I posted my most recent giveaway with an input space for suggestions, I've noticed the most requested thing was tutorials.  So I had to think about what I know how to do that hasn't been said a million times, and most likely better than I could describe it.  I use this little technique to make free hand hearts and since a shamrock is just three hearts with a stem, I figured I could share this with anyone who doesn't have or use stamping plates.

What You'll Need:
-A polish of decent contrast to your base color (I chose Essie Navigate Her over Funky Fingers Kelly.)
-A dotting tool
-Something to practice on (I use paper plates or the back of older Bundle Monster Plates, before they put the backing on them.)
-Acetone to clean off your dotting tool in case it gets goopy
-Something to wipe your dotting too off on (I use cotton rounds, but they can shred. A paper towel would work.)

What You Do:

Make sure your current manicure is dry.  It helps if you've already put your topcoat on and had that set, too.  If you mess up and have your topcoat on, sometimes you can swipe off your oopsie without damaging the base color.

Put two little dots of polish.  This is also how I make free hand hearts.  If you use a tiny dotting tool, you can drag the pooled polish into a point, creating a heart shape!

Add two more little dots on the side.  Do this quickly as you'll need to drag the polish from the dots to fill in the space at the end.

Repeat on the opposite side. 

4. I really didn't know how to photograph step four since its a motion, but all you do is use the dotting tool to kind of push the polish into the center to fill in the space while keeping in mind what a shamrock looks like.

5. Use your dotting tool, you may need to re-dip to get more polish for this, to make a tiny little line at the bottom of the shamrock for the stem.

As you can see in the very first picture with my dotting tool and acetone glass, you need to practice it a few times to get it down.  Practice, in my case, didn't make perfect but it made "good enough", haha.  Given the fact you'll probably be using greens and it is nearly St. Patrick's Day, even a rough shamrock should be a discernible one!

Since I'm not so good at this, I only used one for my manicure as an accent nail.

"Natural" Light

"Natural" Light

Just am FYI, Sinful Colors Green Ocean does not play nicely with FF Kelly.  It clashes, I feel.  This is two coats over my FF manicure from the previous post.  If you try this, I'd love to see your results! Post your attempts in the comments section if you'd like (=


  1. this is adorable! I did something similar for st. patrick's day but my shamrocks did not turn out NEARLY as well as yours did haha

    1. thats ok! i had to try about 10 times to get it looking OK, and i couldnt repeat it on my nails again so thats why its an accent instead of a full mani lol